Transformation begins at the cross

Easter Sunday Brings Monday After

“…be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”

When we lived in Italy I loved the day after Easter because it was also a holiday. While Easter Sunday was chocked full of activity, food and celebration, the day after we recuperated. We slept in, chewed on leftovers and reflected on what had just transpired.

Jesus’ disciples must have experienced a Monday-after like no other. Following a rollercoaster of grief and darkness when their Master died, a glorious Sunday of resurrection shone. A bright Monday with incredible promise and a million uncertainties followed. When the world went back to work, they made sense of things.

Puzzle pieces they’d never caught fitted together. Snatches of conversations, miracles and teachings began to make sense. Events surely tumbled through their minds connecting threads and enlightening understanding.

Jesus had told them what would come. He’d clearly laid out his suffering, death and resurrection. But, on the mountain top excitement of wind-sea obedience, lame-walking, blind-seeing fervor, they couldn’t conceive a Messiah’s ultimate complete submission to a mad mob and a wooden cross.

Jesus demonstrated this when before His death,  He took them up the mountain.

“…And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.” Matt. 17:2-3; ESV.

Christ’s sacrificial death would fulfill both the law of Moses and the prophet’s predictions. In the original language, transfigure, “metamorphoo” prefigured the glory of a risen Christ, and a promise of eternal metamorphosis.

Transformation begins at the cross, but it doesn’t stop there.

It is a long arduous process.

Paul writes about it in Romans.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (metamorphoo) by the renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:1-2; (ESV)

In a collision of God’s love and wrath a Savior offers redemption, a radical metamorphisis. Salvation, through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, lives out the same way. But, living sacrifices tend to climb down from the altar.

I know. I do it all the time.

I get impatient for transformation, mine, my husband’s, and my loved ones. It’s hard to leave behind what we were and press toward who we will be.

Good stuff happens on mountaintops, but in long valleys faith grows.

Monday morning, like a butterfly that can’t turn back into a worm, we desperately need the sustaining power of the gospel to live out its glory in the mundane.

Easter Sunday we look behind and see an incomprehensible glimmer of what awaits ahead. One day, we will see our Savior face to face. As it was for Jesus’ disciples, what we can’t grasp now, will be gloriously revealed. Our transformation will be complete. We will stand in His Presence, clothed in the shining robes of His righteousness. And it will be stunning.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another…”  2 Cor. 3:18; ESV

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash